What are attachment styles good for, you ask?
In the previous article in this 3 part series, “I Need You, Physically” we talked about the ways we communicate and fulfill our emotional needs for security, significance and closeness through physical intimacy and sex.
We All Need Answers To Our Fundamental Attachment Questions,
(often several times a day), from our partners.
But giving and receiving those answers isn’t always that simple, is it?
- Have you ever been, or are you now in, a relationship with someone who struggles with physical intimacy?
- Or do you ever find yourself uncomfortable with physical intimacy with your partner?
- Our attachment styles greatly affect our comfort level with, and the way that we approach touch and sex.
There Are Three Attachment Styles:
These attachment styles play out not only in our verbal communication with one another, and our non-physical ways of establishing and maintaining relationships, but also in the amounts, forms and frequency of physical intimacy we engage in.
Want to know your style? Take our Attachment style Quiz
A person with a Secure Attachment will have little difficulty with physical intimacy and emotional connection during and through sex and touch. He or she is able to express his or her needs verbally and non-verbally and naturally watches for, reads and responds to his or her partner’s intimacy needs.
Someone with an insecure attachment will have more challenges with physical intimacy, and may be “on and off” in his apparent need for affection, physical closeness and sex. He wants intimacy, but fears that getting close to someone physically will leave him more open to the chance of being emotionally hurt by that same person. He craves the same thing we all do, non-verbal affirmation that he is valued, attractive, safe, but fears immediate or eventual rejection that would tell him he is none of those things. He may have trouble reading his partner’s needs for or reactions to physical intimacy and fluctuate between affectionate and aloof.
The person with an Avoidant Attachment still has the same emotional and physical needs as all others, but the expectation and fear of rejection subconsciously overwhelms her inherent need to be close. She is unable to make the connection between her fear of vulnerability and her discomfort with close physical proximity. Logically it doesn’t make sense to “run away” from hugs, kisses and sex with her partner, so she sabotages the intimacy with passive aggressive behaviors. She may pick fights to avoid intimate moments or create situations that make intimacy impossible (eg. headaches, late nights at work, saying “PDAs are disgusting, people should keep that private” etc.).
No matter what attachment style we have, we all seek intimacy, we just approach it in more or less effective ways. We want it and all that it entails, comfort, affirmation, physical enjoyment, a closer emotional bond – the meeting of our human needs, but our attachment styles guide us in our “decisions” whether or not to risk our emotional safety in order to meet our emotional needs through intimacy and sex.
In the next article in the series“Healthy happy relationships need trust” we’ll discuss how attachment styles are based on, and drive our ability to trust and how that trust is so interwoven with physical intimacy. Also, we are all concerned about emotional fulfillment and how do we do it in the different attachment styles. For more on attachment development, check out this article. Also we just published our new book, an in-depth look at Love, Sex, and Passive Aggressive Behavior.
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